As Everton continue their march towards Europa League qualification, one of the big storylines this season has been the success of the new player acquisitions under Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh.
No player embodies this quite like Idrissa Gueye, who joined from a relegated Aston Villa side in the summer for €8.5 million. Gana has been one of the first names on the team sheet right from the off, and has proven to be an incredibly valuable purchase.
Best described, perhaps, as a “poor man’s N’Golo Kante”, the Senegalese international leads the entire Premier League in tackles with 101 and is 3rd among midfielders in interceptions per game with 2.6 (coincidentally, ahead of Kante in both areas).
Gueye recently scored his first goal for the club against Sunderland, and along with Romelu Lukaku is in the discussion for Everton’s player of the season.
It should come as no surprise, then, that bigger clubs would eventually come around and test Everton’s resolve for keeping the all action midfielder, and sure enough, a report in the Guardian this morning links Arsenal to a potential purchase.
The Gunners have struggled to find the right balance in midfield this season. Big money buy Granit Xhaka has been a disappointment, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are unreliable due to injury, while Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are simply mediocre.
Arsene Wenger only has to look down the road at Stamford Bridge to see what kind of difference an all action midfielder can make. Gueye would not be the flashiest type of purchase, but could undoubtedly make a huge impact in the center of the park for Arsenal.
For Everton, the proposition is trickier. They would undoubtedly make a significant profit on the player with any sort of sale, but it’s a dangerous game to consider breaking up one of the division’s best central midfields. Gana’s partnership with Morgan Schneiderlin is in its infancy, but early returns have been superb.
What do you think? Should the Blues be willing to move on from Gueye this summer? A move would certainly open even further opportunities for Tom Davies, as well as provide additional funds for improving the squad elsewhere.
However, the prospect of Schneiderlin and Gana laying waste to the Europa League next season may be enough for the club to hold on to their star man.